Jonathan Neufeld is the lead pastor of Maple Ridge Baptist Church. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Jonathan Neufeld is the lead pastor of Maple Ridge Baptist Church. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge Baptist Church sprucing up its exterior

The house of worship, built in the 1980s, is in need of an update

Maple Ridge Baptist Church is one of the first buildings to catch a passer-by’s eye as they enter the city via the Lougheed Highway.

As proud as the congregation is of their community, the building has become an eyesore, which they feel does not represent them as well as it might.

Lead pastor, Jonathan Neufeld, pointed out it was originally built in the 1980s when stucco walls and no roof overhangs were the style.

“Now it’s well worn on the outside, and in some places it’s leaking,” he said.

“It’s looking old and aged in a city that’s kind of renewing itself.”

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Baptist church turns 100

While the church may be over a century old – it celebrated it’s 100th birthday in 2012 – it would still like to be seen as vibrant.

“It’s growing, not dying,” Neufeld insisted. “So part of growing is taking care of the place.”

A little over three years ago, the church’s congregation decided to start the process of fixing the building.

They plan to replace the entire exterior with new siding and extend the walls at the roof line to deal with rain fall and drainage better than the current structure does.

One of the major challenges was amassing the necessary funds. With a budget of $1.3 million, the project is not cheap.

“The congregation has really dug in and been really faithful,” Neufeld said. “We’ve been really encouraged as everybody has gotten on board to help.

“We had no outside source of funding, so everything comes from within.”

The lead pastor said the church has been blessed with some members who have some valuable knowledge when it comes to these sorts of projects.

Jim Frew is one such member who serves on the building committee.

He said they received a building permit from the city in May, which was great timing for them.

“It worked out well, as it got us into the season where construction is easier to do, so it’s been going along well.”

Frew said they have just begun demolition this week, so they are in the process of taking off all the stucco around the church.

“We’ll work it in phases because the building needs to stay useful during the construction process.” he said. “Although we’re still limited by COVID, we still need to get people in-and-out and have as much activity here as is safe to do.”

Once the stucco is removed, workers will be put on moisture protection and then the new siding. Frew mentioned he is keeping his finger crossed the project can stay on schedule to avoid bad weather.

“We’re really hoping that the bulk of this work can take place during the dry weather, and then we can concentrate on the smaller finishing things that will take longer.”

Altogether he sees it as a six month process but says people should see some changes to the building soon.

He is counting on those changes being very positive.

“With the widening and the construction on the Lougheed Highway, a lot of the trees have come down,” Frew said. “We’ve become that much more visible, so it’s become that much more important that [the building] presents well.”

The lead pastor agreed, noting the importance the church plays in the Maple Ridge community.

“This building has seen funerals for everyone from firemen to city officials,” he said, “If ever there’s a tragic event, people come to mourn here.

“And when there’s a city-wide conversation, often times they’ve used the building too.”

Neufeld said in a perfect world the COVID-19 crisis would come to an end right before the church construction is completed.

“The dream would be that COVID is done and we could open fresh building and have a fresh start post-COVID but of course, we need to make sure we follow the precautions.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgeReligion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The new design for the exterior of the Maple Ridge Baptist Church will bring the building into the 21st century. (Contributed photo)

The new design for the exterior of the Maple Ridge Baptist Church will bring the building into the 21st century. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

An early morning fire forced the evacuation of a Maple Ridge apartment building on Saturday, April 3 (Deborah Hampton/Special to The News)
City of Maple Ridge thanks volunteers for response to Easter weekend blaze

Emergency Support Services volunteers stepped up to help displaced residents

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Shannon Belsito took this photo on Thursday morning, indicating the true arrival of spring. “Feeling the inspiring beauty and freshness of spring with these gorgeous magnolia blossoms near Kanaka Creek that just popped after the rain.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Spring has arrived in all its splendor

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

A small memorial to Rich Goulet was started at Pitt Meadows Secondary after his recent death. (Neil Corbett/The News)
LETTER: Rename Pitt Meadows school gym in coach’s honour

Rich Goulet was considered one of the provinces best basketball coaches and died recently

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read